Ingrid Winter is a mildly neurotic mother of three with a chaotic family life but also an English Professor at the University of Stavanger. She is full of phobias and fixed ideas – and has an incomparable talent for getting herself into predicaments and embarrassing situations.
Ingrid has received her long-awaited English professorship in literature and envisions a new life characterised by tranquil research. But the newly appointed head of the department wants things to be different, and Ingrid suddenly finds herself, due to a misunderstanding, as an art expert on national TV.
At the same time, the marriage of picture-perfect neighbours Katti and Svein falls apart – causing Ingrid to worry about her own. What’s really keeping her and Bjørnar together? What will happen to their joint project when the children soon leave the nest?
Ingrid’s parents invite the extended family to Rome to celebrate their double 75th birthday, and Ingrid falls per usual in the shadow of her sister, who is enjoying tremendous success with her new book about successful divorces. All of Ingrid’s fears about everything she can lose comes to a head: her husband, the kids, love, and her self-respect.
Rich, entertaining, and well written… Drangsholt is a sharp observer who moves from one readable and entertaining scene to the next… The quiet contemplation in which Drangsholt incorporates subjects and authors forms the novel’s finest parts, which not only point to a horizon of understanding, but also add meaning and open up room for interpretation.
Few can write as wisely and humorously about disastrous belly-flops in professional and family life. […] Winter Holiday hilariously captures the comic – and painful – awkwardness of a mid-life crisis and is a great summer read.
Ingrid Winter’s inner monologue is a joy to read. She is sharp and witty, with original references to pop culture and academia combined into a riveting flow of thought… All in all, a solid contribution to a series that has become a Norwegian comedy classic.
“Ingrid Winter could be Bridget Jones’ more established Norwegian cousin – a bit smarter, a bit more reliable, but just as impulsive and good at making bad decisions.”
Dagbladet, About The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter
Drangsholt writes impressive entertainment, elegantly alternating between private life, work life, and Italian vacation life. And the gravity is never absent, but always nicely integrated into the text.